Predawn Ammonia Leak At W. Anaheim St. (West of Magnolia) Cold Storage Plant Brings LBFD Hazmat Response, Closes Some Streets As Firefighters Contain/Control Situation For Clean-Up


(Feb. 2, 2013, updated 4:00 p.m.) -- LBFD Capt. Jim Arvizu has issued the following release on the hazmat incident reported earlier:

The Long Beach Fire Department responded to a hazardous materials incident just before 5 a.m. this morning at a cold storage facility in the 600 block of W. Anaheim Street. Upon arrival firefighters encountered a strong odor of ammonia. At that time a perimeter was established and the departmentís Hazardous Materials Team was requested to respond to the scene. A four block perimeter was established; however, no evacuations were necessary.

The Hazardous Materials Team made entry into the facility and shut off the main valves to the ammonia system. A leak was discovered coming from a diffuser tank, the team plugged the leak and contained the 100-200 gallons of liquid that had leaked from the tank. The Hazardous Materials Team also monitored the air with special equipment to ensure public safety. The company is working with various City departments to mitigate the clean up.

(Feb. 2, 2013, 11:20 a.m.) -- LB Firefighters (who frequently say they're trained to be the "ultimate problem solvers") demonstrated that before dawn today (Saturday Feb. 2) when they were dispatched to the 600 block of West Anaheim St. (just west of Magnolia Ave. at about Daisy Ave.) where at a cold storage facility they find a large of amount of industrial ammonia had leaked...and a large storage tank had a small leak with the potential for leaking considerably more.

For several hours, streets were blocked off from the 710 to Cedar Ave. and 11th to 15th Sts. and a "shelter in place" advisory was emailed by LBPD shortly before 9:30 a.m. (carried on for residents as roughly (approximate number here) 25 LB Firefighters performed shut off and containment operations.

LBFD Public Information Officer Capt. Jim Arvizu tells that at 4:56 a.m. LBFD responded to a possible haz-mat situation at a cold storage logistics facility in the 600 block of W. Anaheim St.. Arriving firefighters smelled a strong odor of ammonia, set up a perimeter, notified a hazmat team, made entry, found the leak, shut off a main valve...and then spotted a 4,000 gallon tank with the possibility of up to 4,000 gallons of water with ammonia mixed in it.

Capt. Arvizu said about 100-200 gallons of the product were on the ground when LBFD firefighters contained the spill and were able to stop the leak from the tank.

LBFD put sensors in area to do some air sampling and Capt. Arvizu says they found "nothing close to having to evacuate anybody, very low readings." He noted that ammonia has a very strong odor so small amounts may small bigger than they are, in this case perhaps a block or so away but at very low concentrations.

As of about 10:30 a.m., streets were in the process of being reopened. Capt. Arvizu said LBFD will have a fire inspector on scene, along with a rep from LB's healt dept. as the situation is turned over to the company for clean-up.

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